Energy savers earn praise

From schools heated by geothermal to one of the most energy efficient homes in Canada, 45 local individuals, businesses and institutions are taking energy management to new heights.

And those energy saving efforts were recognized last week in Kelowna as FortisBC announced the winners of its annual PowerSense Conservation Excellence and Leadership awards for outstanding achievements in energy efficiency.

For the first time, the awards were part of an all-day forum where energy conscious businesses learned from each other, industry experts and Natural Resources Canada on the most effective ways to manage energy use. FortisBC PowerSense Conservation Excellence Awards recognize customers who have shown a commitment to innovation, conservation and sustainability by completing energy efficiency projects that saved more than 100,000 kilowatt hours annually and reduced natural gas use by more than 10 per cent when compared to an equivalent time period in 2011.

One of the largest projects recognized with a conservation award was the expansion to the City of Kelowna’s wastewater treatment facility.

With this project, the facility has nearly doubled its capacity to treat water, accommodating the city’s sewer servicing needs beyond 2030. As part of the expansion, new equipment was installed that increases the facility’s energy efficiency and reduces the use of potable water. Innovative technologies include UV disinfection of effluent and a state-of-the-art odour control system.

“Building a sustainable city means that we find ways to deliver and balance on multiple bottom lines. Through expansion of the wastewater treatment facility, we have been able to expand our capacity for service while reducing our energy footprint and saving costs,” said Mike Gosselin, acting utility services manager.

The Okanagan Conservation Leadership winners — 45 organizations and individuals acting as leaders, catalysts, and educators — are:

Conservation Excellence

City of Penticton, Interior Health Authority, Town of Summerland, School District 53 Oliver, Village of Keremeos, Overwaitea Foods, Hudson’s Bay Company, Loblaws, UBC Properties Trust, UBC Okanagan, City of Kelowna, Kelowna Toyota, Sears Canada, Orchard Park Shopping Centre, Delta Grand Hotel, Versatile Fab and Machine, Okanagan Strata Management, Northwood Retirement Resort, Pushor Mitchell Building, Interior Savings Credit Union, Sunstar Ventures.

Leadership Awards

Darter Developments Ltd., Acorn Communities Ltd., Architecturally Distinct Solutions Ltd., Valux Homes Ltd., Allen & Maurer Architects, Ritchie Contracting.

Special Acknowledgements

BC Non-Profit Housing Association, Okanagan Lighting Wholesalers, Ministry of Energy and Mines and Natural Gas (Efficiency Division).

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